Survey: The Status of Automation in Financial Services

Process automation is vital to banking’s future; 90% of the 302 industry leaders in our study appear convinced that process automation is either important or critical to their business. Yet many are struggling to move beyond early proofs of concept. Why is that?

Ulrika Mann

Ulrika Mann,

Financial institutions (FIs) already have a number of proven automation adoption strategies at their disposal, from increasing cross-functional collaboration and execution, to achieving “quick wins” via automation of small (but painful) tasks. But why is adoption of automation so slow for a capability deemed so critical?

Report: How Can A Bank Future-Proof Itself?

Our findings reveal five major factors behind the slowness:

  1. Automation isn’t about technology overhaul – but many firms are treating it like it is. This misunderstanding is hindering business leaders’ ability to take advantage of what, in many cases, is minimal coding required to adapt non-invasive process automation platforms to interact with legacy systems.
  2. FIs are likely under-resourcing their automation efforts. This is a critical shortcoming given the sheer scale of opportunity and the amount of business process knowledge it takes to capture it. 
  3. FIs are having difficulty dealing with security and risk. Not surprisingly, the chief barriers to moving forward with automation of key processes include uncertainty and lack of standardization around privacy, security, legal and compliance issues. 
  4. FIs are still figuring out the post-deployment operating model for bots. Training, reassignment and traditional change management are a given. But bots also introduce a human resources factor to the equation, exposing a gap in their ongoing management.
  5. There’s a major disconnect between the benefits IT departments expect to enable and those that business users expect to realize. These disconnects complicate cost/benefit analysis, internal buy-in and the evaluation of results – bringing the lack of upfront business involvement full circle. 

The good news is that all of these challenges are solvable. What’s critical to moving forward, is an understanding that automation is not a silver bullet. Instead, FIs must view automation as a vital component of an overall digital business strategy that over time will include cognitive computing, human-centric design, the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain in the mix. Download the report below to find out more.